Switching from oil to electric furnace

Discussion in 'HVAC' started by sumat, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Dec 3, 2008 #1

    sumat

    sumat

    sumat

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    I'm a new homeowner, and I'm trying to decide if I should switch from an oil furnace to an electric furnace. I live in the Pacific Northwest, and electric rates aren't bad (lots of hydroelectric power). Natural gas is not cost effective given the expense of having a gas line run to our house, so that's not an option. I'd like to get a furnace installed that was set up for a future installation of a heat pump, but we're at least a year away from that. I'm concerned about cost--up front and down the road--but I'm also concerned about environmental impact. Any advice is much appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2008
  2. Dec 3, 2008 #2

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

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    Welcome Sumat:
    Resistance electric heat is the least efficient type you can find. The heat pump is a great idea and a geo-thermal heat pump is the best. I have used a geo-thermal for over ten years now and love it. It was expensive to install but it has paid for itself more than twice now.
    You may not have any use for Air Conditioning in your location, which would make the oil heat very efficient. Up dates and repairs on the oil heater may be your least expense for now and down the road.
    Glenn
     
  3. Dec 4, 2008 #3

    CraigFL

    CraigFL

    CraigFL

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    Why do you believe this? I thought electric heat was 100% efficient...
     
  4. Dec 4, 2008 #4

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

    glennjanie

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    Hello Craig:
    That is what the electric companies will tell you and what they really want you to believe. As far as the point of heating, it is 100% becuase there is no vent to release any heat.
    However, in my area the steam that drives the turbine is heated with coal and even the best turbines loose 40%. The turbine exhaust has to be circulated through the cooling towers and anyone who doesn't believe they are loosing energy can witness the steam cloud coming from the top of the towers. You know, those things they show on TV and say they are 'belching out polution', well it is only steam.
    My whole point is, electricity is 60% efficient with the best new turbines. And hydroelectric power blows my case out of the water.
    Glenn
     

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